It is dangerous to welcome refugees: the evidence, Sweden, a particularly welcoming country, has just undergone an attack, according to a speech by US President Donald Trump to his supporters. Only problem: this attack never took place.
“Look what is happening in Germany, look what happened last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would have believed it? Sweden. They have welcomed many refugees, and now they have problems as they would never have thought,” he said in a speech in Florida in defense of his anti-refugee policy.
Almost immediately the false information went viral on social media, under the hashtags #lastnightinSweden (last night in Sweden) and #SwedenIncident (incident in Sweden). The official national website of @sweden, which is held weekly by a different Swedish citizen, received some 800 questions in four hours.
— Michael Smyth (@MichaelSmyth_) February 19, 2017
“No. Nothing like that happened in Sweden. There was no terrorist attack. At all,” said the week’s manager.
Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt opened fire: “Sweden? An attack? What did he smoke?” Gunnar Hokmark, a Swedish MEP, retrieved a message from a fellow countryman saying, “Last night in Sweden, my son dropped his hot dog in the campfire. It’s so sad. But how (Trump) did he know?” The member asks in his commentary.
Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound. https://t.co/XWgw8Fz7tj
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 19, 2017
Other tweets make fun of Mr. Trump, publishing under the name “Secret Plan for an Attack in Sweden” … instructions for assembling Ikea furniture. This is not the first time that members of the Trump administration have referred to non-existent terrorist attacks – explained later by slips.
Kellyanne Conway – who invented the concept of “alternative facts” – alluded to the “Bowling Green massacre” in an interview. She then explained that she wanted to talk about the “terrorists of Bowling Green”, two Iraqis charged in 2011 for trying to send money and weapons to Al-Qaeda.
And White House spokesman Sean Spicer spoke three times in a week of the Atlanta (Georgia) bombing – before he remembered that it had actually taken place in Orlando, Florida.